Detroit, Oregon - A hunter thought he had found a severed human head in an abandoned mining shed and called the police. Deputy Larry Taylor realized it was just the head of a mannequin when he noticed a price sticker on the forehead.
Redondo Beach, California - After a short chase, officer Joseph Fonteno charged the driver of a white Mazda with DUI. The car had been driving down Pacific Coast Highway with the upper half of a traffic light pole laying across its hood. When Fonteno asked the drunk driver about the pole, he responded: "It came with the car when I bought it."
Australia - The Australian Police Journal reported that an elderly woman had already used about half of the powder in a custard packet when she discovered an object that appeared to be a large dead cockroach. However, when she brought it to the Health Department, food analysts determined it to be a dried-up human finger. The following investigation revealed that a factory worker had lost two fingers in a machine with rotating blades. One finger had been found. The other had made its way into the custard packet the woman had bought.
Pochatello, Idaho - In February, 1997 a 46-year-old female elementary school principal was charged with misdemeanor trespass, based on photographs taken by former police dispatcher Richard Clothier. Clothier had taken the pictures in order to find out who had been running onto his property since September, defecating in his front yard on Sundays. In a pre-trial conference the woman admitted in front of several witnesses that she had indeed defecated 21 times on Clothier's lawn, as well as about 5 times on the lawns of his neighbors.
Edmonton, Alberta - The driver of an armored truck appeared to be signaling for help as he repeatedly swung his door open. Six police cruisers chased and stopped the truck, which had been swerving left and right. As it turned out, the driver had simply tried to fan fresh air into the cabin after the other guard had passed gas.
Sacramento, California - An elderly gentleman walked into a police station and reported that he thought he had robbed a Wells Fargo Bank a few days earlier. The police officers didn't take his confession too seriously because he was very old, suffered from obvious physical ailments, carried a white hospital bag, and admitted that he wanted to go back into Kaiser Hospital's psychiatric ward. He also couldn't remember the exact day, time, location of the bank, or the nearest cross street. However, after an intensive interrogation, FBI agents found out that the senior citizen had indeed robbed the bank and was responsible for three other bank robberies.
Antioch, California - A 22-year-old man was arrested after allegedly ordering a stranger to fix his truck at gunpoint.
San Francisco, California - Dan White, a city supervisor, killed Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, another supervisor. White's lawyers said that eating a Twinkie had made his blood sugar level rise so high, it caused his psychotic episode. this resulted in the charges against White being dropped from murder one to involuntary manslaughter.
Mount Shasta, California - Joy Glassman, the 60-year-old mother of a firefighter, was charged with five counts of arson. She allegedly set the fires to help her son's career.
Boynton, Florida - For their attempt to raise money to attend the police academy, Michael Harrison and Kevin Carter were arrested and charged with armed robbery and murder.
Woburn, Massachusetts - In August 1996, police investigated complaints about the Anchor Baptist Church. The church allegedly lured kids from a nearby housing project by promising them pizza and then baptized them without their parents' permission.
Sanger, Texas - Four teenagers, including the police chief's son, broke into a funeral home. They had planned to steal embalming fluid, dip cigarettes in it and smoke them. But when they couldn't find any fluid, they decided to cut off the finger of a corpse and took turns trying to smoke it.
Pennsylvania - A bank robber was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Instead of wearing masks, he and his accomplice had thought that rubbing citric acid on their faces would somehow blur their images on the security cameras.
Pikeville, Kentucky - After a fight with his girlfriend's 16-year-old son over rent money, Jesse James Taylor drove himself to the emergency room of the Methodist Hospital with part of a butcher knife in his back and a meat cleaver stuck in his head. After successful surgery, he was released the very next day.
Ogden, Utah - A man wearing a clown costume, make-up, a purple wig, and bedroom slippers assaulted a mechanic living in a trailer. The Ogden Standard-Examiner reported that the clown had knocked on the mechanic's door and had demanded to see "Kathy." When the mechanic had explained that he didn't know anyone named Kathy, the clown had accused him of having an affair with her, grabbed the lamp, hit him over the head and ran away.
Wandsworth, England - In 1993, Karl Watkin was sentenced to 18 months in prison for pretending to have sex with a sidewalk. In April, 1996, he was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to 6 years in prison for simulating sexual intercourse with garbage bags. In September, he commited suicide in his cell.
Appleton, Wisconsin - Darrell Voeks was arrested for stealing $100,000 worth of farm pigs to pay for breast implants for his favorite stripper at a local club. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Key West, Florida - A restaurant worker killed another as the result of a heated argument over how to put silverware into a dishwasher.
Ypsilanti, Michigan - The Ann Arbor News reported that a man failed to rob a Burger King because the clerk told him he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. So the man ordered onion rings, but the clerk informed him that they weren't available for breakfast. The frustrated robber left.
St. Peters, Missouri - A gunman robbed a 711 store, but returned the money minutes later because his car wouldn't start. Amazingly, the store clerks came out to the parking lot and gave the robber's car a jump start. Police Officer David Kuppler commented: "We have a very friendly town out here."
Niagara Falls, Ontario - The operators of Casino Niagara told a local newspaper that customers urinating around slot machines had become a serious problem. Customers who believed a slot machine would soon pay off were afraid to leave the machines and either wore adult diapers, urinated into the platic coin cups or simply on the floor next to the machines.
Grande Ronde, Oregon - Sixty-seven-year-old Arthur Mooney died of a heart attack in the Spirit Mountain Casino. While his body lay right there on the floor for an hour, the other customers continued to play the slot machines.
Vanuatu, South Pacific - The entire 300-men-strong police force of the island nation was arrested after kidnapping a visiting politician from Australia and attempting to use the hostage as leverage in a dispute with the government concerning overtime pay.
Stockholm, Sweden - Customs officers arrested a woman who had tried to smuggle 75 live snakes in her bra. The officers became suspicious when they noticed how the woman kept scratching her chest.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras - To combat the spread of HIV, prison officials at the Central Penitentiary decided to encourage male inmates to marry each other, thus vowing to be faithful to just one sexual partner. The same-sex marriages are valid only in the prison. Eight couple have already tied the knot.
Scarborough, England - On June 22, 1996, a totally wrecked Ford was found at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff. Police found no sign of the driver but discovered a pile of human feces on the driver's seat.
Cameroon - Lynch mobs from several towns hanged three men who had been accused of evil witchcraft. The men supposedly had the ability to make other men's genitalia shrink or even disappear. Similar penis panics have been reported in China, where it is called "shook yang" and in Malaysia, where natives call the superstition "koro".
Copyright ã 1997 & 1999 by Oliver Gaspirtz. All rights reserved. "A Treasury of Police Humor" and the samples on this web page may not be reproduced in any form without permission. The news stories printed in this book have been compiled from credible reports in reputable law enforcement journals, newspapers, and public records. The publisher and the author accept no responsibility for any accidental misrepresentation or factual errors which may inadvertently appear in the book or on this web page.